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162                            UTCE OF
surrounded us in youth. Thus obscure feelings, the
connexion of material observations, and afterwards the
active exercise of reflection, lead us to the knowledge
-which penetrates through all grades of civilization,
that a common, ordained, and therefore eternal unity
prevails over all nature.3*
But another and a higher enjoyment of nature is
that where ideas are united with the excitement of
the feelings,—where the regular and Immutable laws
of nature are not only felt, but acknowledged by the
reasoning power. HJumboldt not only did much for
the development of this feeling, but has endeavoured
to excite men to it, and educate them for it, by his
writings. For an appreciation of nature in its regu-
larity is a duty of civiHzation; it is a human, ennobling
enjoyment, for which a want is felt by the increasing
education of our age, and needs a greater development.
In spite of a generally high intelligence, the grossest
ignorance on natural subjects still prevails even in the
higher classes, and an appreciation of nature rarely
rises above the before-mentioned lower grades of a
simple emotion. But in the present age5 where all
classes strive to enrich their life by a greater abun-
dance of ideas, a better insight into nature cannot
fail; and therefore Hiunboldt's " KLosxnos^ is impor-
tant for the German nation, as this work professes to
be an educational medium to develop in the people
the highest phase of an appreciation of nature—the
knowledge of nature in her regularity and legitimacy,
besides its individual influence on the feelings.
It is sometimes asserted that nature loses her
charms, when we inquire into its secret powers and its
constitution, that it loses its mysterious halo and exalted
elevation; but, even if the play of imagination is cir-
cumscribed, and the charm of the mystery dissolved, if,
even, an erring philosopher alleges ignorance of na-
tural laws to be the only source of admiration and
elevation; an insight into the intercoherence of all
natural objects, when it is attained and practised in
Humboldt's manner, and is not-merely a crude col^